A Mackerel By Moonlight

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He is a man of splendid abilities, but utterly corrupt. He shines and stinks like rotten mackerel by moonlight. Senator John Randolph of Virginia, commenting on fellow lawmaker Edward Livingston.

The New York Times reports on the whiff  of corruption that accompanies Bill Clinton wherever he goes. This time it is a huge donation to Clinton's foundation and a questionable business deal. Both Clinton and the donor deny wrongdoing, but the appearance is rather bad, any way you look at it.

Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.

Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

I mentioned before that Clinton and scandal are riveted together at the wrists and ankles. There will be more and more of this sort of thing coming out throughout the year, that you can be assured of. John Randolph would have recognized Bill Clinton for what he is on sight, I suspect.

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One Response to A Mackerel By Moonlight

  1. MikeO says:

    The big story (probably the biggest political story in America so far this century) is the war being fought within the Democrat party between the New Democrats and the lefty old guard. The Clintons’ campaign and the Kennedys’ endorsement of Obama puts faces to these factions and pits them against each other in this cage match of a primary.

    I figured the NYT would take the Obama/Kennedy/Dean side. It is going to be fun watching which side other players take. I hope this gets ugly enough that the Republican nominee can simply run for office without even addressing the Democrat nominee.

    IMO, the New Democrats captured the void left when President Reagan’s 1980 win marginalized the Rockefeller Republicans. They successfully expanded graft out of the traditional union and machine politics into big and international business and finance (Schwartz/Loral, ChiComs, Soros, Global Crossing, Marc Rich, Giustra, etc.). They have become Karl Marx’s haute bourgeoisie but profit from using government power and influence rather than capital to control the means of production, and it looks like the hard left is going to call them on it this cycle.

    If Obama wins the nomination, scotching the Clintons’ plans to be back in the White House next year, fully expect to see the Clintons pull all stops to defeat Obama in the general to keep their option for a 2012 run open. Also, with Dean (Mr. “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party”) in control of the DNC, expect a *huge* fight over seating Michigan and Florida delegates. The DLC New Democrats are losing what little hold they have left over the levers of power, losing corruption opportunities will hit them hard in the pocketbook, and they are in a fight for their very survival.

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